SEATTLE — A Customs and Border Protection memo obtained by The Associated Press confirms that bus companies such as Greyhound do not have to allow Border Patrol agents on board to conduct routine checks for immigrants living in the country illegally. 

That's contrary to Greyhound's long insistence that it has no choice but to let the agents on board. 

Immigrant rights activists say the memo gives them additional leverage as they pressure Greyhound to stop allowing sweeps.

Greyhound told the AP it appreciated the Border Patrol “clarifying” its policy. It declined to say whether it would prohibit agents from boarding its buses. 

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Border Patrol Bus Checks Seattle
In this Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 photo, a worker, right, speaks with a Customs and Border Protection agent seeking to board a Greyhound bus headed for Portland, Ore., at the Spokane Intermodal Center, a terminal for buses and Amtrak in Spokane, Wash. A Customs and Border Protection memo obtained by The Associated Press confirms that bus companies such as Greyhound do not have to allow Border Patrol agents on board to conduct routine checks for illegal immigrants, contrary to Greyhound's long insistence that it has no choice but to let the agents on board. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios)
AP